Alabama priest marries teen after abandoning post, leaving for Europe — By: Catholic News Agency

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CNA Staff, Nov 22, 2023 / 18:50 pm (CNA).

An Alabama priest who was removed from ministry has reportedly entered into a civil marriage with an 18-year-old woman he met through his work at a Catholic high school.

Father Alex Crow, 31, was suspended from ministry in July after he abandoned his assignment and left the country with the woman one month after she turned 18. 

The Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama suspended his priestly faculties, which prohibits him from presenting himself as a priest, saying Mass, leading church ministries, or entering school grounds. 

Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi said in a statement reported by NBC News 15 that he expects the Vatican to laicize Crow. He had previously said that he sees no possible way for Crow to return to the priesthood.

“The recent news of Crow’s civil marriage only confirms the Archbishop’s judgment,” the statement read. “Archbishop Rodi anticipates that the Vatican will eventually laicize Alex Crow.”

The archdiocese reported to the Mobile District Attorney’s office that Crow had traveled in July to Europe with the woman, who he met through his ministry at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. The office, however, did not find evidence of criminal wrongdoing. 

Crow and the woman signed a notarized marriage certificate on Nov. 17, 2023, and the probate court received it on Monday, according to WKRG News 5 in Mobile.

The soon-to-be-laicized priest was ordained in the archdiocese on June 5, 2021, according to a now-removed bio of him on the Corpus Christi parish website.

He studied at Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary College in St. Benedict, Louisiana, earning a baccalaureate of liberal arts and philosophy. He holds a master’s of divinity from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, and a baccalaureate of sacred theology from the Pontifical Atheneum of San Anselmo, Rome, with a concentration in demonology and exorcism, according to his biography.

Crow, his biography says, was an Episcopalian, before joining the Presbyterian church. It wasn’t until he was 21 years old that he felt the call to become a priest, the biography says. 

He has given several lectures on Marian apparitions and spiritual warfare for his parish, according to posts from the parish’s Facebook page.

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